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Message from the Head of Primary: Write Your Own Headlines

23 November 2021

A message from the Head of Primary, Alan Cocker.

  • alan

I love to watch the news and keep up-to-date with current affairs. It was something that I inherited from my parents. For almost as long as I can remember, I was encouraged to sit and watch the news with my family, and we would end up discussing current affairs. It helped to keep me in touch with the wider world and develop my knowledge of politics, history and local, national and international issues.

From the age of 12, I also had the pleasure of doing a paper round each and every morning before school. This would involve getting up very early in all weathers (usually in the UK it was windy and rainy), and delivering the daily newspaper to households that had placed orders. For this I was paid £2.90 (14 AED) a week.

During my delivery round, I inevitably read the headlines and reports in the papers I was delivering. This past interest in headlines has continued into my adult life. I have a habit of watching the news each and every day. I still discuss the news regularly with my parents on our regular ‘Zoom’ calls. I use it as topic of conversation with those that I meet and encounter throughout the day.

I have noticed recently that sometimes people seem to live their life through the media headlines, and this can sometimes feel more negative than positive. You hear people talking of the terrible situation in such and such a place, or how challenging life is because of recent changes in the COVID rate in Europe or Africa, that there isn’t enough action on climate change, and we need to do more. 

Interestingly whilst on one of my daily walks with my dog, I came across an elderly gentleman. We got talking and I just mentioned that life must have been challenging for him over the last months of the COVID pandemic. His response was quite remarkable. “No. Not at all.”  I was intrigued. He told me that he had seen a lot in his life time, good and bad. He went on to say that he learned a long time ago not to see the world through media headlines. “I choose to see the world through people that surround me, and I make my own headlines. ‘Family drops everything to visit Grandad’, ‘Husband loves wife today’ and ‘Father enjoys a talk with his son’. Looking for kindness helps me to write my own headlines and see the good in each day.”

 Last week we celebrated Kindness Day. It was very affirming seeing everyone thinking about each other and taking time to acknowledge the good in each other.  As we continue from Kindness Day, could we stop to consider our own headlines through the lens of kindness. What might your headline of the day be – what might your child’s headline be?

Alan Cocker